Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #84 begins on 30 Jul 2020

US Auction #3 begins on 13 Aug 2020


The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.

EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with suite of 32 contemporary plates

Published: Chapman & Hall, London, 1837

Edition: first edition

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The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.

London: Chapman and Hall, 1837.2 volumes (bound from the original parts with stab holes), octavo (8 3/8 x 5 1/8ins; 212 x 130mm.) 43 engraved plates after 'Phiz' and Robert Seymour (including the 2 suppressed plates by R.W. Buss), extra-illustrated with the full suite of 32 plates by Thomas Onwhyn and others. (Spotting and browning to the plates [as usual], moderate spotting to the text, lacking half-title, title to the second volume with old folds.) Contemporary dark blue calf, covers with outer border ruled in blind, the inner border gilt with arabesque cornerpieces, spines in six compartments with semi-raised bands, dark red/brown lettering pieces in the second and third compartments, the others with repeat decorative tooling in gilt, gilt turn-ins, yellow/cream glazed endpapers , gilt edges (light rubbing to extremities, some light surface scuffing.)

Provenance: J. Wood Jnr. (inscription at the front of each volume dated 1838).

An exceptional first edition in book form, early issue including 5 of the 7 first issue text points listed by Smith (as well as the two suppressed Buss plates) and 32 extra-illustrations.

The 'Thomas Onwhyn plates', which were separately issued by E. Gratton, between 1 May and 9 November 1837, under the general wrapper title "... Thirty-Two Illustrations of ... the Pickwick Club".  

First issue points include: Page 260, line 29, "hodling" for "holding."; Page 341, line 1: Correct reading of "inde-licate;" line 5 correct reading of "inscription;" with stab holes; Page 342, line 5: "S. Veller" uncorrected; Page 400, line 21: "this friends" for "his friends."; Page 432, headline: "F" in "OF" imperfect. Some other points include: with 'Veller' on the additional title, 'E' at the foot of both p.25 and p.27, the second plate is listed first in the plate list, and 'Chapter XXVIII' is repeated, once on both p.282 and again on p.299.

"If you find a copy of Pickwick (or most Dickens novels) with plates clean as a whistle, beware. They are routinely seen oxidized, moderately to heavily, with dark toning, broad or narrow, at the margins.  If found so, there's an excellent chance that they have been washed by a restorer." (

See: Eckel, p. 17; Gimbel A16; Hatton & Cleaver, pp. 1-88; Johannsen, pp. 1-75; Smith, Dickens, I, 3.

  • Binding Condition: Acceptable
  • Overall Condition: Acceptable
  • Size: (8 3/8 x 5 1/8in) 212 x 130mm
  • Sold By: Shadowrock Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Adam Langlands
  • Country: United States
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 001-860-248-1547
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Paypal, US$ checks and wire transfers, major credit cards through paypal
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved

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